Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr G Wallace


Pain is a common presenting problem in general practice, stimulating shared doctor and patient expectations of diagnosis and effective treatment. This unit attempts to improve the process of pain management by giving students clinically relevant and up to date information on topics including basic definition, anatomy, physiology of pain, psychological aspects of pain, evaluation of the patient with pain, role of the GP in pain management, role of pain clinics, specific disorders; migraine, neck and facial pain, TMJ, thoracic and lumbar pain, musculoskeletal pain including fibromyalgia, cancer pain and pain management in palliative care.


By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Apply a better understanding of pain physiology and assessment in your practice.
  2. Describe the pain experience and its ramifications, recognising that whole person care is essential.
  3. Use a range of practical pain management strategies and techniques in dealing safely and effectively with patients pain.
  4. Assess the complex issue of spinal pain with a logical diagnostic and management approach.
  5. Recognise the concept of soft tissue rheumatism (localised inflammatory soft tissue disorders).
  6. Recognise the wide range of causes of headache and develop a framework for a diagnostic approach.
  7. Use the fibromyalgia syndrome model in your approach to a number of other painful chronic musculoskeletal diseases and conditions.
  8. Identify the particular needs of patients suffering cancer pain, and use a range of strategies, both pharmacological and non pharmacological, in alleviating the pain.


Preliminary audit 15%
Post course audit 15%
Assessment tasks 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr G Wallace